PREA

About the Incarcerated Survivor Advocacy Program (ISAP)

The Incarcerated Survivor Advocacy Program (ISAP) was launched in October of 2016. ISAP offers support, advocacy, and resources to incarcerated survivors, service providers, and correctional staff. Our ISAP staff advocates for survivors of sexual assault in correctional facilities across the state and monitors facility compliance with PREA. In addition, ISAP works closely with TAASA’s General Counsel and Director of Public Policy to ensure compliance with statewide regulations that protect incarcerated individuals from sexual abuse.

ISAP & TAASA believe that no one deserves to be raped regardless of whether they have committed a criminal act. All survivors of sexual assault deserve the same level of respect, compassion, and services as survivors in the community. We also acknowledge that incarcerated survivors have unique needs and may require tailored services.

About the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was enacted in 2003 by the U.S. Congress to eliminate sexual abuse prevalent in correctional facilities. In 2012, the Department of Justice finalized standards that described compliance for correctional facilities required to implement PREA under the law. PREA requires correctional facilities to adopt a zero-tolerance standard for the incidence of prisoner sexual assault and has three clear goals: to prevent, detect, and respond to prison rape. All state, federal, and local correctional facilities are required to implement the PREA standards and be compliant with the standards. Juvenile detention facilities are also required to be PREA compliant.

PREA in Texas

Governor Abbott has confirmed that Texas is moving toward total compliance with national PREA standards. It is important for Texas to comply with PREA as it is home to one of the largest correctional systems in the country. Texas has approximately 106 state prisons, 16 federal facilities, 247 county jails, 15 community corrections facilities, 66 juvenile detention facilities, and 22 ICE detention facilities.

  • Sexual assault rates in Texas prisons remain among the highest in the nation.
  • In 2013, five Texas prisons had rates of sexual victimization more than double the national average of 4.5%, including two facilities with the highest rates in the country.
  • Between 9.3% and 15.7% of all prisoners in Texas prisons had reported being sexually assaulted within the previous twelve months.
  • Texas facilities also rank high in staff-on-inmate sexual assault rates: for example, the Clements Unit (9.5%) and the Coffield Unit (6.8%) have among the nation’s worst rates (national average for staff-on-inmate sexual victimization was 2.4%).

Helpful Resources

For more information about PREA, ISAP, serving incarcerated survivors, or to request a specific resource, please contact Erica Gammill at egammill@taasa.org or (512) 474-7190 ext. 119.

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